Villalba, Jóvito (1908–1989)

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Villalba, Jóvito (1908–1989)

Jóvito Villalba (b. 23 March 1908; d. 8 July 1989), Venezuelan political leader. A native of Nueva Esparta State, Villalba attended the Central University of Venezuela, where he became one of the most prominent members of the student Generation of 1928 as leader of the Venezuelan Students Federation. His eloquent oratory in opposition to the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez resulted in his imprisonment from 1928 to 1934. After 1935 the young lawyer was a founder and leader of influential political organizations. In 1946 he joined a new political party, the Republican Democratic Union (Unión Republicana Democrática—URD), and quickly rose to be its secretary-general, a post he held for decades. In 1952 he ran for president in a military-sponsored election, but his apparent victory over the official candidate was nullified by the military authorities, who promptly deported him. After his return from exile in the United States in 1958, Villalba became a principal architect of the new democratic political system. He headed the URD, served in Congress, and ran unsuccessfully as his party's presidential candidate in 1963 and 1973.

See alsoUniversidad Central de Venezuela .


Iván Claudio, Breve historia de URD (1968).

Manuel Vicente Magallanes, Los partidos políticos en la evolución histórica venezolana (1973).

Robert J. Alexander, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Latin American and Caribbean Political Leaders (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Croce, Arturo. Jóvito Villalba en la historia política de Venezuela. Caracas: Edición Homenaje, 1990.

Valero, Jorge. La diplomacia internacional y el Golpe de 1945. Caracas: Monte Avila Editores Latinoamericana, 2001.

Velázquez, Ramón J., et. al. Presencia de Jóvito Villalba en la historia de la democracia venezolana. Caracas: Ediciones Centuaro, 1986.

                                    Winfield J. Burggraff

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Villalba, Jóvito (1908–1989)

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